Shopping – it’s more than just the product

Yesterday, at the recommendation of a trusted associate, I bought my first portable camcorder – the Kodak Zi8. It’s a handy device for anyone in the coaching arena, something that produces simple, quick, high quality clips for YouTube sharing and can be used to record impromptu interviews if you’re running events.

I heard about the device on Friday, and by the next day I HAD to have one! Yes, I could buy one on-line and have it delivered but the thought of waiting a few days (and me not being in when it arrived) didn’t appeal so I set about trying various stores in my area. John Lewis had a Flip but I wanted the Kodak. PC World didn’t have it and Curry’s said because it was new on the market they didn’t have it yet.

I tried a gadget-store just outside Bolton, a place I don’t like but which seems to stock everything. I drove there with some trepidation. I’m not a tecchie and when I’ve been before I always feel I’m not qualified to go there. It overwhelms me and I feel under pressure. Sure enough, it was the same again. Being a Saturday there was a long queue. I spotted a computer terminal designed (I presumed) to help you find the relevant product code. I searched but couldn’t find the mouse click to select an option – no, I’m not THAT technically challenged! There was just no return button that worked. I gave up, walked out and breathed a sigh of relief.

I began to despair and as a last resort tried the specialist camera store Wildings. Again, the response was the same – “we don’t stock it.” But then, just as I was leaving, the assistant said, “have you tried Argos?” I hadn’t thought of that. He continued, “If you like I could look on-line and see if they have it in stock.” He went to the Argos web-site, found a local store that had it in stock and reserved it for me!

I was delighted and more than a little surprised. This guy didn’t work for Argos but still managed to find a way to help me. In the end I did get it from Argos – the guy there tried a little ‘too’ hard with his customer service manner, but hey ho, at least he tried! But my loyalty now leans toward the local camera shop for a piece of outstanding customer service. They made me feel comfortable and went beyond the normal call of duty. From now on, my first option will always be Wildings.

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